OTTAWA – If not for netminder Cam Talbot, Alex DeBrincat would never have had the chance to play hero.
DeBrincat scored the only goal of the shootout Tuesday night as the Ottawa Senators earned a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, but a 49-save performance by Talbot, including 26 in the third period, was the main reason it got that far.
“It was an exciting game. Probably gave them a few too many looks but Talbs kept us in the game for the most part and it’s nice to get the win,” said DeBrincat, who also scored in regulation along with Tim Stutzle.
“It’s always fun to go in the shootout. Didn’t really know what I was going to do, I just winged it and it worked out. It’s nice to see the puck go in the net.”
The win snapped a three-game slide for the Senators (15-16-3) and was their first shootout of the season.
Jake DeBrusk and Paval Zacha scored in regulation for the Bruins with Zacha’s goal coming at 16:27 of the third period to tie the game 2-2. Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves for the Bruins (27-4-3).
“Hats off to Talbot. That was a fun goalie battle,” Swayman said.
The Senators had a 2-1 lead after two periods and a 21-20 shot advantage. The Bruins outshot the Senators 27-5 in the third.
“Our goal was to get better every period. I thought our first was OK, our second wasn’t as good. I give credit to Ottawa, but I thought our third, we really got to our game,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said.
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“Talbot was incredible.”
The teams played through a scoreless first period despite a pair of breakaways by Senators forwards Brady Tkachuk and Stutzle.
In the second period, Patrice Bergeron appeared to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead, but a video review determined that the play was offside, and the game remained tied.
Stutzle did score a goal that counted when he beat Swayman from the right faceoff dot at 8:11 on the power play.
“I think we worked really hard, but without (Talbot) I don’t think it would have been possible. He kept us in the game the whole time. They had a lot of chances, but he was there when he had to be,” Stutzle said.
“I think everyone was pretty gassed at the end. We had four days off and couldn’t really skate. It was a great effort by the guys and I think we put everything on the line and had a lot of blocked shots, too.”
The Bruins got that goal back just over two minutes later as DeBrusk’s first shot was wide but hit the end boards and bounced back right onto his stick as he was about to circle the net. He had an empty net to deposit the puck as Talbot was moving the other way expecting the puck to come out the other side.
DeBrincat restored the lead for the Senators as he caught up to the puck at the top of the crease and delivered a chip shot over the shoulder of Swayman at 13:37 for a 2-1 lead.
Senators forward Drake Batherson assisted on both second-period goals and increased his point streak to 11 games. It’s the highest such streak since Jason Spezza had an 11-game streak in 2011-12.
Tuesday was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Ottawa scored a 7-5 win on home ice over Boston on Oct. 18. …Before Tuesday’s game the Senators recalled defenceman Dillon Heatherington and forward Jacob Lucchini from Belleville of the American Hockey League. … Brad Marchant played his 900th career NHL game Tuesday, all with the Bruins. … Erik Brannstrom was a scratch for the Senators Tuesday while A.J. Green and Jakub Zboril were scratches for the Bruins.
The Senators meet the Washington Capitals at the Capital One Arena on Thursday. On Saturday they will be in Detroit to face the Red Wings.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are in East Rutherford Wednesday to face the New Jersey Devils before heading home to host the Buffalo Sabres Saturday afternoon.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2022.
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